This was a year of growth for me as a wedding planner in many ways. I’m slowly working on growing Eventistry into the company I see it becoming. See, I’m on a 15-year-plan….when my daughter is 15 and doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore, I want to be doing this full time. (I’m kidding…..but also, not really.)
This year included helping 7 of my own clients walk down the aisle, being featured on a CBS Sunday Morning News, assisting another wedding planner on 3 of her weddings, a business trip to Las Vegas, a creation of a local wedding planner mastermind, growing my local facebook group for professionals to almost 700 members, a change in my second company We Thee Wed, 2 wedding shows completed and one in the works, beginning the process of my first styled shoot for early next year and discussing wedding shows for 2021. All while trying to maintain my personal relationships and raise my daughter as a stay-at-home mom. Wowza. So here we go, my year in review for 2019!
It was just a few days into the New Year when I met with Val (Perfectly Planned) for tea and we discussed bringing together wedding planners in the area to form a mastermind. It turned into a monthly meeting with about 8 planners and we have big plans for the future for wedding planners in the area. Even more importantly, this was the first time I actually sat down with Val for more than 5 minutes, actually learned about her and gained a new friend.
February – March
Then I began to really focus on both of the wedding shows I had organized with my second company We Thee Wed. The first was in North Olmsted, on the windiest day of the year. The power went out and was out for the entire setup (lit only by the wireless LED uplights provided by the amazing Mo of Lime Lights Entertainment). It turned back on 5 minutes before the doors were to open and I broke down in tears of joy…..seriously. The second show is the one I do annually with Villa Croatia in Eastlake where we had 65+ vendors – my biggest show to date.
This was the month that my wedding season started to really take off. Client meetings were beginning, and just as awesome was the shoot I took part in. Back in February, I was talking with a producer at CBS Sunday Morning about surprise weddings. And I was currently planning one with a couple and they were looking to feature one. Well, they picked us!! They came out this month to do some interviews and planned to come back for the big day later. None of my interview made the cut, but we got pictures of it at least and I was shown in the segment as their wedding planner. A complete success for me.
My first wedding of 2019 was the surprise wedding with Alisha and Tyler at Claridon Woodlands. They had sent invitations to their guests for an engagement party, but they were actually getting married. I also officiated my first wedding. Nothing like being filmed for national television while officiating your first wedding. We set everything up the day before so the day of things would run smoothly and we wouldn’t have any hiccups. Alisha’s mom almost caught us during setup, but luckily nothing for the ceremony was set up yet. Phew. It all went swimmingly and I would totally do another surprise wedding again! You can learn more about their wedding here.
Next up was Kristen and Brandon’s wedding day at Makakiki Golf Club and Pine Ridge Banquet Center. This one was one for the books, I never thought I would be talking to Subway Corporate to coordinate a subway cookie tower, but I did. A beautiful day, amazing flowers and a FANTASTIC wedding party. So glad I was able to be a part of it all. You can learn more about their wedding day here.
Caitlin & Jake’s wedding had arrived at St. Noel’s Banquet Center. Not only did I get to work with Christine (Rising Ashes Designs), who I loved working with last year. I got to help create a day for an amazing couple who was great fun to be around. You can learn a little more about their day here.
The other two were my own beautiful couples. First up was Jenna & Adam at Sapphire Creek Winery. This evening was so amazing with such beautiful weather which was perfect for the setting. Jenna and Adam were so great to work with and I have never had a family so appreciative of me and my team. It was so amazing being able to be a part of their day and get to know the family too.
Then came time for Katalyn and Ben’s big day at Lakewood Country Club. A wedding on the greens and a dance party in the club, complete with an amazing selection of desserts from The Faithful Little Cupcake. Some of the best sweets this season for me. You can read more about their wedding here.
Amanda & Jeremy’s wedding was my biggest of the season. Not in the sense of guest count or budget, but in scope of work. I mean I walked over 25K steps this day. It was a BIG day for Eventistry. The wedding was held at The Madison, which is an amazing blank space that you can do so much with. We started with a ceremony space, sent the guests outside for a cocktail hour and then proceeded to do a 45-minute room flip to their reception. My team was there to lead the way but it could not have been accomplished without the help of The Madison crew and the fantastic staff from Thyme Catering. You can read more about their wedding here.
Right after Amanda & Jeremy tied the knot, I flew off to Las Vegas for a whole week. It started with a few days alone with my husband to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. Then he went home and I stayed to attend Wedding MBA. The biggest wedding industry conference in the US. I had such a fantastic time last year and learned so much, I went back again. I got to see friends that I only talk to online, build new relationships and learn even more. Plus this year a few friends from Cleveland went with me.
As soon as I got back from Vegas I got to help my friend Val one more time at a wedding at the Lake Erie Building.
The wedding to end this season was with Candace & Josh. I absolutely LOVED working with these two. We clicked so easily when we first met and I was thrilled to learn they were doing a Day of the Dead themed wedding at Manakiki Golf Course and Pine Ridge Banquet Center. Seeing all the bright colors and every little detail they had for their guests, it truly brought the entire day together.
In the past few weeks, I have had a few meetings all about wedding shows. My focus has turned to the big one at Villa Croatia while also talking with others for shows later in 2020 and even 2021. With that, I am in the beginning phase of my first styled shoot and working on ways to elevate the local wedding professional group I run. I love helping other business owners and I want to be able to give them a great platform to communicate and learn from each other.
This past year was a big one for the growth of my personal network for me as well. I met a lot of new people at networking events. I went from hiding in the corner to walking in and having people looking for me. It’s a great feeling. But in the end, I look back at this year with a lot of gratitude for the support from family, friends and fellow professionals. Without my support system, I wouldn’t have those to vent to, learn from or lean on. As a business owner, it is essential to have those systems in place to be able to survive and grow. So a very special thank you to them. Now on to 2020, a year meant to be the best one yet!
So I have had many a chats with couples at places like a We Thee Wed wedding show, and they dismiss my services because they already have a venue coordinator at their venue. Now when I hear this two things happen. One, I kindly respond with my prepared speech what makes a wedding planner different. Something that I have told couples over and over again, which is basically this blog. Two, I secretly scream out in my head in frustration because both of our jobs are being sold as the same, be it by the venue coordinator themselves or someone else, and **spoiler alert** – THEY’RE NOT!
Now I must preface this blog with one thing…..I LOVE VENUE COORDINATORS!! They are amazing at what they do, they know their venue inside and out, they are a HUGE help to my couples and even to me. This blog is NOT to bash on what they do, but instead to share the differences between them and myself, a wedding planner.
So to keep it simple, let’s look at the key differences:
Venue Coordinators are brought on with the renting of a venue. They are there for everything that specifically deals with the venue. The venue and it’s staff takes precedence. If they have tables, chairs, linens, tableware, etc. they will handle all of the above. If they handle the catering, they will focus on the kitchen staff as well.
Wedding Planners are brought on by a couple to help with their wedding no matter the venue. They are there for everything that deals with the couple. They will handle the items that your other wedding professionals were not hired for and even some that they were hired for. Their first priority is the couple.
Your Hired Wedding Professionals
Venue Coordinators can sometimes provide you with a list of preferred vendors for their venue and some may ask for a final list of your vendors before your wedding.
Wedding planners will provide a list of wedding professionals based on those they know will do a good job, are within your budget or align with your style. They will coordinate the arrival time and setup of all vendors before the wedding. Wedding planners review contracts to make sure everyone is protected. They will manage the wedding professionals making sure things are on time and that they have everything they need to get their job done and done well.
In general venue coordinators will ask what your timeline is with your DJ for the time you are at their venue and then they will make sure that correlates with what they need for their staffing.
Wedding planners will create a detailed timeline for you. They will work with your wants and needs and also the wedding professionals you hired to create a timeline for your ENTIRE day. From the moment you wake up, to lunch, to the ceremony time, to the first dance song to the grand exit, EVERYTHING will be timed out by your wedding planner. They also help keep everyone running on time throughout the entire day as well.
A venue coordinator works during the venues business hours and is split between every couple that is utilizing their venue. Let’s say they are booked for 40 weekends out of the year and only two days a weekend. That means 80 couples. If they have multiple rooms available to rent, like a hotel or banquet center, double that number. This doesn’t include luncheons or events that happen during the week.
A wedding planner does have business hours and most work within those business hours. But lets get real here, I don’t stick to my business hours. My couples work day jobs and generally do wedding planning after work. I do my best work after my child is in bed. So yes, I have business hours, and sometimes I enforce them for my sanity, but in general I am ALWAYS available. Depending on your wedding planner they will have a set number of couples they work with. The average I see is between 20-30 weddings A YEAR. Larger companies take on more, but me personally I take on between 6-12 weddings A YEAR. This means you get so much more personal attention from a wedding planner because they have the time to give it to you.
Look, is having a venue coordinator awesome? Yes! But please don’t dismiss having a wedding planner too. Both do entirely different jobs. Both have a place, working hand-in-hand together, in your wedding day.
P.S. A venue coordinator will also not have an emergency kit available to you, go dress shopping with you, fix a shoe, put on boutonnieres, sew a dress, get the right cake to your venue when the baker sends a horrible one, get flowers removed that don’t belong, find you an embroidery shop that can make a gift the night before the wedding….just to name a few things I have personally done. 😉
Something I have seen time and time again on local boards for wedding planning are questions about RSVP’s. Now I’ve already written a blog about invitation etiquette, and I lightly touched on RSVP’s, so if you just want an overview you can skip to that blog now. Within this one I am going to go into much more detail on just your RSVP card and the process of collecting that information.
RSVP Card Basics
Let’s start with the basics of your RSVP card by taking about the type of card. Yes there are types, as in a postcard, online or one you put in an envelope.
PROS: Very easy and quick for people to do, and generally leads to more RSVP’s actually coming in.
CONS: Not everyone is technologically savvy and it can turn them off.
PROS: Cheaper for return mail as you can get postcard stamps.
CONS: Rarely, but can get damaged more without an envelope to protect it.
PROS: Traditional and what people expect.
CONS: Postage can add up.
In the end I recommend at least doing one paper form of RSVP as well as offering an online one if you can. The reason I do not say to only offer online, is because you still have people that are not capable of doing it. Be kind and just send them a paper one too. Also, don’t forget that you still need to put a stamp on it. You ALWAYS put a stamp on the RSVP card. Otherwise, you are making it hard on your guests and you will have so many more that do not RSVP that you will have to reach out to (more on that later). The bonus my clients have with me is my online planning portal. My clients can send for a online RSVP request and then it automatically updates their guest list and seating chart. Boo-yah. Talk about efficiency and organization.
What should I put on the card?
Now let’s look at what should be put on your RSVP cards. The very top should have something written about the RSVP due date.
This date is EXTREMELY important. I always recommend to my clients that they set the date to be one week before final numbers are due. Traditionally they need numbers about 1-2 weeks before the event, so set your RSVP to three weeks before. WHY? So now you have a week to reach out to everyone who has not RSVP’d yet. And there will be MANY unfortunately, as that seems to be the norm now.
And YES you need to reach out to every single one who has not RSVP’d by the deadline. You do not want to have to guess and provide more seats and food “just in case”. Call them, text them, email them…..whatever you normally do to communicate with these people. And if they don’t get back to you, set another deadline. “If I don’t hear back from you by Friday, I will mark you down as not attending.” I am more than willing to help make phone calls to guests for my couples because getting a call from a wedding planner is different than from a friend. I always get the answer I need very quickly because of my position in the entire event.
What is that weird “M” line for?
The next line seems illusive to some people.
That line is for people to fill in their names aka “Mr John & Wilma Smith”. Now, traditionally it is for the guest to fill in, so you leave it blank but there is two things I will say here.
One, if you want to write in your guests names then do it. Tradition has flown so far out the window on things, that it really doesn’t matter anymore.
Two, if you do not write in their names you need to number your RSVP cards. For some reason there are people cannot grasp the concept of putting their names on things and send it back blank. Then instead of not knowing who it belongs to, you can look at the number and compare it to your guest list. I recommend either hiding the number in a dark spot on your card or buying UV pens and a blacklight flashlight. It just makes it look better to not see a hand written number on your card. If you can’t do either of the above, just number the cards and Miss Manners will look the other way, I promise.
The most important part of your RSVP card
Next on the card there is some version of the actual RSVP and an added line I ALWAYS recommend adding.
First for the actual RSVP it can be done very simply, or creatively, as long as both you and the guest understand which is a “yes” and which is a “no”. The added line is something like the following, “___ of ___ guests will be attending” or “___ seats have been reserved in your honor”. The point of this added line is to stop people from thinking they can just bring whoever they want. You have a set amount of people for that RSVP, AND YOU MUST FILL IN THE NUMBER OR ELSE IT IS TOTALLY POINTLESS. Now it doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while you get rude and inconsiderate person who crosses off the number and adds in their own. No, you cannot uninvite them as much as you and I wish you could. You do need to contact them and let them know that they will not be getting three seats instead of two. Then they have the choice of declining now or not. Stick to your guns and always blame the venue size for legal reasons that you can only have so many guests.
Don’t forget the food!
Lastly, if you are doing family style or buffet, then your card is done. But if you have meal choices for your guests to pick, then you also need to include that on your card.
Pretty simply leave a line with your meal options and the phrase “Please Initial Your Meal Choice Below”. Now sometimes you will get people putting in numbers or an “X” instead of initials. You can call those people and get a definitive answer if you want. Or you can keep in mind that they are family and if one ordered fish and the other beef, they can switch plates if they get the wrong one.
In the end, contacting them with your questions is best
You can follow all of the above and you will still end up with questions unanswered when you get your cards back. If you need more information or someone has not RSVP’d yet, CONTACT THEM ASAP. Don’t leave anything to chance. The goal in this is to do everything you can to make RSVP-ing easy for your guest and yourself and in the end have the least amount of headaches possible.
As a bonus, some people like to add fun things to their RSVP cards, like song requests. That is absolutely something you can add to your RSVP card at the bottom. And if someone requests the Macarena, kindly forget to put that on your DJs list for me. Thanks.
You have graciously accepted the honor of standing in front of a crowd while all of the attention is on two people getting married – you are now a member of a bridal party, the honor attendants, entourage, groupies, whatever you want to call yourselves. Congratulations! Before I get into the main points I must first call out to those who bestowed upon you this honor.
These amazing people who you have asked to stand with you are some of your nearest and dearest. They are standing with you for a reason. They are important to you and it means the world to have them stand with you. If what I have just said is not true, then you have chosen people because you have to (aka relatives or you were in their wedding – which is a whole different blog coming soon) or you need to rethink why you chose your attendants (again, see other blog coming soon).
These people are friends or family and have accepted your request to be a part of your big day. They did not sign up to help with every little thing that has to do with your wedding, like gluing 638 rhinestones onto every candle holder to represent how many days you’ve been together. They didn’t sign up to be required to listen to your every decision and/or issue while planning your wedding. They did not sign up to be treated like hired help, because they are not being paid. They signed up to be a part of your day, will do everything in their power to help when they can, plan and attend some pre-wedding parties, buy a dress they can afford, walk 20 steps and stand still, smile at a photographer and keep you fed and hydrated all day. Other than that, you can expect nothing more. So what I am about to tell these honored attendants is not just good for them to know, but good for you to hear. That way you know what to expect of them and won’t be disappointed if nothing else happens. Now let’s begin with things you must and must not do as a member of this elite club.
WHAT YOU MUST DO
Buy or rent your wedding attire. Look, buying a dress or renting a tux can be expensive, so make sure you let your couple know ahead of time if you will have any financial issues with this. That way they can make the decision to help cover the cost or choose someone else (which I hope they don’t do). The price of the attire should be within reason, meaning based on your age, employment status, etc. If it is not within reason for you, talk with your couple and see what can be worked out.
Attend the wedding and the reception. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people show up extra late or leave early that are in the wedding party. It even happened to yours truly, but we won’t go there. Unless there is an emergency or an unavoidable issue, you need to be at the ceremony and the reception on time, and for the entire time.
Do not get drunk before the ceremony. And keep them from getting drunk too. Nothing holds up a wedding better than a liquored up wedding party. They show up late, they don’t listen to instructions, they throw up on the alter…..it’s just bad. Drinking is going to happen, but do it in moderation. Once they say “I Do” then keep it flowing and have fun, but stay sober enough to be able to get through the entire reason for the day.
Help plan and pay for pre-wedding parties. In general the maid/matron/man of honor is in charge of bridal showers/bachelor/bachelorette parties, and the rest of the attendants chip in financially and with ideas. Even helping organize, prepare, and execute the events. Sometimes mothers will offer to chip in or host showers. This should not be expected, but they should not be left out once planning starts. All this being said, if you cannot financially help with the festivities, make it known ASAP and help in other ways. Offer up your house, assemble all the favors, clean up when all is said and done. There are many ways to contribute if you cannot spend money. But if you are of stable job, this is something you must be prepared for. And to those at the head of planning the parties, set a budget and stick to it.
Help with setup. Now in an ideal world every couple would hire a wedding planner or at least someone to set up their venues so that their friends and family don’t have to help. But it’s also not in everyone’s budget. So if your couple do not have a planner, and they ask for your help to set things up at the venues, help them. It’s a big undertaking and they will need all the hands they can get.
Attend pre-wedding festivities. Now sometimes everyone’s lives do not correlate well together and schedules do not mesh. There are for sure legitimate reasons why some people may not be able to attend one of the pre-wedding parties, but do your best to be there. And if you can’t, at least still help with putting it together. Even if you live in another state you can send a check to the host and a gift to the couple, it’s called Amazon.
Listen. Sometimes your bride or groom is going to get stressed out while planning this wedding. IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. So although I said earlier that you didn’t sign up to hear every little issue, you did sign up to be a friend during this time. Sit on the phone and just listen. Even if you have no clue how to help, be an ear to bitch into and go on your merry way.
Make sure your couple is hydrated and fed all day. The wedding day will go by so fast, and they will be pushed and pulled in so many directions that sometimes they will not remember to drink or eat…..especially in the morning. It is your job to make sure they are taking care of themselves because they have a long day to get through. No one likes a passed out bride because her sugar level crashed.
Go shopping for THE dress. Now of course this is one of those things where schedules will not always align, especially the more people that are being asked to come. So if your schedule doesn’t match the appointment times, it’s ok. Dress shopping can be both fun and disappointing. Bridal dress sizes are all wonky and shopping for this outfit can have a lot of weight to it, so emotions run high. Be there for support in her decision.
Go dress shopping for the bridesmaid’s dresses. So do you have to? No. But if you don’t then you have no say in the end with what you are wearing. Plain and simple. Go, voice your opinion and wear something flattering. Stay home and wear the neon pink sequined dress with the giant bow on your butt. Your choice.
Pay for your “extras” aka hair, makeup, shoes, jewelry, etc. Now here’s where I also say, don’t pay for your hair and makeup. The thing is, if you can financially afford it, then pay for it. If you cannot afford it then let your couple know. If they are REQUIRING you to have your hair and makeup done and you can’t afford it, then they should be paying for it. But do your best to get it done, because you will look like the odd one out if everyone is all done up professionally and you did it yourself. Trust me, you CAN tell.
Help with some of the wedding tasks. Depending on your couple there will either be minimal tasks to be done, or there will be so much DIY your fingers will no longer feel the pain of a glue gun anymore. Be ready and willing to help your couple assemble some wedding items: favors, invitations, centerpieces, etc. Make sure you make it clear from the beginning what you are able and willing to help create. Also your couple knows you, so if they don’t ask you to help because they know you are not crafty-capable, don’t take offense. Not everyone wants glue fingerprints and glitter all over their escort cards. Be honest with yourself and put down the glue.
Give a toast. Now in general it is a traditional and normal request to ask the people of honor to speak at the wedding reception. So if you are in that position be prepared for it and don’t say no. If you are any other member of the party you may be asked as well, sometimes even to speak at the rehearsal dinner. Just be honest with your couple if you feel you can do it or not.
DO NOT ACCEPT THE ROLE IF YOU ARE NOT 100% INVESTED. Look, in the end, you have the right to be treated with kindness and as a human being. We all know there are some couples that feel they are entitled to more than they should be. That’s the nicest way I can put it. BUT you have agreed to be a part of this momentous occasion that comes with stress, high emotions, menial tasks and a lot of working parts that need to come together. Sometimes it will get the best of them, and as a friend who is important enough to be standing by their side as they declare their lifelong commitment to each other……bite your tongue, smile and nod, glue the rhinestone……deal with it.
When wedding planning, one of the biggest questions that will come up, mostly from others, will be “Are you having kids at the wedding?”. Let’s break it down this way, you’re going to fit into one of these two types of people:
ONE: Ah, the squeals and cries of delight as a child is twirled around the dance floor. That totally makes me smile.
TWO: If one more kid trips on my dress on this dance floor, or cries one more time, my head is going to explode. This is why I didn’t want kids at the wedding.
So now that I know I have the attention of the right couples, let’s move forward. While wedding planning, you have decided to have kids in attendance. Awesome. But you also know like most people do, that kids have the attention span of a gnat. (I am a mother myself so I can say that.) What do you do to ensure that they have a fun time, but so do their parents? You make them feel special and give them something to do.
Here is my list of things that you could do for the kids attending your wedding, be it your own child or someone else’s.
1. You plan to use bubbles for your exit of the ceremony venue, or maybe as part of your grand exit, what better way to treat the kids right then by getting them bubble guns. Young kids already have a hard time blowing bubbles, and bubble solution is like a magnet to dress clothing on anyone under the age of 18 (or over for that matter). So contain the solution and make it easier for them. BONUS POINTS if you get the ones that light up.
2. If they are your children or close to you, have them help with the ceremony. Be it as an assistant usher, or a reading/poem. Just including them in the wedding ceremony gives them something to look forward to. That means they pay more attention, not always, but it helps. Just remember that it will not go perfectly and you must have patience.
3. Have an activity table set off to the side for just the kids. Fill it full of crafts, coloring books, toys and puzzles. Things that will keep them coming back for more. TIP: When it comes to the crafts ALWAYS use self adhesive items, never glue. And NEVER small items that suck to clean up like glitter. You think bubble solution is bad, wait till little Bobby shows his mom his newly decorated tie with Elmers and glitter.
4. Don’t have room for a table? That’s ok. As you are shopping for your wedding items, keep an eye out for fun things they can do individually at their seat. Then you create a little box or bag that they can have at their table and play with in their seat.
5. If you have the space at your venue, have a separate room for the kids to disappear to. Fill it with fun, games and a movie. More importantly, have a babysitter that will be in the room so that parents won’t have to worry. It keeps them entertained and their parents can still kind of get a night off.
6. Desserts. What kid doesn’t love desserts, or more importantly frosting? I know my daughter could care less about the cake, all she wants is the frosting. So make it fun for the kids. Have an area set up when they can decorate their own cupcake. In fact, make your entire cupcake bar a DIY station and then all of your wedding guests can have some fun. In fact there is a company that does this for you. Their name is Crave Custom Wedding Cakes, and they do all the decorating, but your guests pick it all out. TIP: If you make the bar yourself, put down a drop cloth – tape down the edges if necessary. It will make cleanup a lot easier on you or the staff you hired.
7. Here’s something that will serve multiple purposes: a favor and entertainment for your guests. What I’m talking about is a photobooth. There are so many different kinds out there now that they can fit within anyone’s budget. Keep it simple with some DIY or go all out and get a Mirror Me Photobooth. Wedding guests of all ages will appreciate the fun this can bring to your event. Plus, with everyone getting a print of their images, that covers your favors as well.
8. You’re more than likely going to have a wedding toast done. Maybe by a wedding party member, or a family member, either way it’s pretty much going to happen. So instead of having the kids toast with their soda or water, give them something fun: Milk and cookies. Honestly, just give everyone milk and cookies. I like champagne, don’t get me wrong, but milk and cookies is so different and so fun, and who doesn’t like milk and cookies?!
9. Is your wedding outdoors? I know it’s not often in Ohio that we get amazing weather, but if you plan it right, you can have a lot of fun planning an outdoor wedding. Make sure while you’re choosing between wedding cakes and linens, that you fit into your budget something for yard games. Again, not only is this for the kids but for the adults as well. TIP: Get a bounce house. They’re cheap to rent and have a huge impact and if you get a big enough one, adults can jump too. In fact, scrap you’re whole vision and just do a carnival themed wedding and then give me a call so that I can be your wedding planner. I am so in!
10. Your bouquet toss. Kinda fun and also kinda archaic. I remember being a single lady at a wedding and being pushed onto the floor to catch the bouquet, and frankly I found it embarrassing. It has honestly started to become a very old tradition, and not always done anymore. All that aside, whether you decide to through a bouquet or not, you should throw a candy bouquet for the kids. It’s like the wedding version of a pinata.
11. MY FAVORITE: Set up a photo scavenger hunt for the kids. Place a card at their seat and on it list items they must find at the wedding. There’s two ways to capture the images. If they have a phone, they can use that and have their parents send them to you. Or you could have disposable cameras. Now frankly, disposable cameras are so old fashioned and I never recommend couples put them on tables like they used to. All you get is horrible pictures with maybe 10 good ones and the rest was a waste of money. BUT for this instance I think they are very kid friendly for use and worth it. But again, if they have their own phones then you can save that money. On the list should be pictures that you want of your wedding day. Things like: a couple dancing, your dinner, someone wearing blue, someone toasting, etc. It’s kind of fun to see what the kids capture and it’s always from their perspective. It really can get you some fun pictures too.
Hopefully that gives you a few ideas as to what you can provide for your little guests at your wedding day. As a wedding planner, I say thank you for doing everything you can to help keep the children from destroying items you have rented. As a parent, thank you for giving me my sanity for the evening.